Cautious welcome to Merkel announcement
The renowned Oxford historian Timothy Garton Ash did not meet with universal approval when he wrote: "I'm tempted to say that the leader of the free world is now Angela Merkel."
But that comment, in the wake of the German chancellor's conditional congratulation of the newly-elected US president Donald Trump, gained further currency yesterday when she announced she is bidding for a fourth consecutive federal government term next year. Ms Merkel's assertion that support for Mr Trump was conditional on him accepting "democracy, freedom and respect for the law and the dignity of man" was indeed impressive.
Her generous response to Europe's refugee crisis, at some cost to her own popularity, is in marked contrast with the threshing Mr Trump gave the world's dispossessed and disadvantaged during a most shameful election campaign.